No Traffic Signs and Signals

Did a private yoga lesson today with one of the instructors who teach Vinyasa yoga. Parts of my body are extremely stiff, especially my upper thighs. I cannot even approach a low squat. I freely admitted to my instructor my long list of weaknesses. He promises I’ll be able to fully do a squat and other difficult poses—and we shall see. His studio is on the top floor of an old hotel facing the Ganges and includes a porch. Three walls of the studio are glass, so the view of the river and the city are awesome. After my session, I chilled with his friends on the porch and drank some pineapple juice. He said the place was open all the time and that I could come up and chill, so that’s cool.

After my lesson, I take a nice long walk and stick my head into shops. What most newcomers to India focus on is the cow dung on the streets and how not to step in it. However, there is something on the streets that isn’t there that I failed to notice until a few days ago: no traffic signs or traffic lights. I’ve walked all over the place and even with extreme congestion, including motorcycles, cars, cows, monkeys, trucks, and pedestrians crossing a bridge no more than 6 feet wide. Only one time did I witness an incident: when a motorcycle grazed a pedestrian on the bridge. They squared off, exchanged unpleasantries, and the incident ended with the pedestrian flicking his fingers at the motorcyclist like he was casting a spell or something. Anarchy can only work when deep within each person there is sense of respect for rules and respect for other people. In the absence of respect for rules and other people, there must be laws and expectations that those laws will be enforced. I have a hard time fathoming people at rush hour in the Loop surviving two minutes without traffic signs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *